Liberty News

Divinity students fund, pack 10,000 meals for children in Nicaragua

May 3, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

Throughout the spring semester, Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity students have worked hard to raise money for Rise Against Hunger, a nonprofit aimed at reducing hunger worldwide by coordinating efforts to package and distribute meals.

The initiative was led by students in CLED 410: Team Dynamics in Christian Leadership. Last Friday, the class, along with 50 additional volunteers, packaged 10,000 meals of beans and rice in the DeMoss Hall Grand Lobby that will be distributed to the ORPHANetwork, an organization that serves children throughout Nicaragua by providing education and meals.

“Every professor wants to see their students apply what they’ve been learning in the classroom to real-life situations,” said Dr. John Cartwright, associate dean for the School of Divinity. “This was an opportunity for them to do that.”

Cartwright divided his 13 students into three teams — logistics, marketing, and fundraising — in order for them to reach their goal of $3,000 to purchase the meals and packaging supplies. Then they had to find volunteers to help pack.

“This gave everyone a chance to participate and try different roles,” Cartwright said. “That way everyone could contribute.”

Students visited classes around campus, asking students to give, and also held a fundraising night at Blaze Pizza.

“It was stressful knowing we had to reach that goal,” senior Eddie Ramos said, noting the small class size. “But God really helped us accomplish it.”

Junior Tara Adams said the experience was humbling.

“We had to look at one another, identify strengths, and then place our classmates in positions where they could be most effective,” Adams said. “It was satisfying to see everyone thriving.”

“These aren’t just skills that we’re learning about from a textbook,” she added. “We will all need to apply leadership skills, whether that’s in ministry or in any career.”

For Ramos, the project showed the power of what people can do when working together.

“This all comes from a biblical perspective,” Ramos said. “You see what you can accomplish when everyone comes together as the body of Christ, especially when it comes to making an impact on a world issue like hunger.”

Rise Against Hunger’s Lynchburg Community Engagement Manager Troy Henson said he was impressed by the work done by the students.

“They were so motivated and ready to get this done,” Henson said. “My phone was constantly ringing with questions from them. It was really neat to see them accomplish this and be able to help those in need in Nicaragua.”

Rawlings School of Divinity students participate in many service projects throughout the year. Several classes have worked with City Reach Lynchburg, a partnership of community leaders and local churches to show the love of Christ to Lynchburg. Students also work with Lighthouse Community Center in Downtown Lynchburg.

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